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Jacobs vs. Derevyanchenko: Daniel gives himself the edge over Sergiy

Daniel Jacobs

By Dan Ambrose: Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) is giving himself the advantage in experience over his considerably shorter 5’9″ opponent Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) this Saturday night in a fight for the vacant International Boxing Federation middleweight title on HBO World Championship Boxing at the Hula Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.

There are a lot of boxing fans that believe Derevyanchenko will need a KO to win the fight, because the’s the B-side fighter facing Jacobs in his hometown of New York. The fans remember all too well the strange scoring in Jacobs’s fights in New York against Gennady Golovkin and Maciej Sulecki. The scoring seemed to favor Jacobs in many rounds in which he appeared to lose. Two of the judges had Jacobs beating Sulecki by a landslide decision, when in fact the fight was decided by a 12th round knockdown by Daniel in the eyes of the fans. In Jacobs’ fight with Golovkin, the judges gave him five of the last six rounds. At best, Jacobs fought well enough to win three of the last six rounds in the GGG fight, but definitely not five of the last six. If the same pattern of judging plays out in Jacobs’ favor against Derevyanchenko on Saturday night, then he’ll win the fight and capture the vacant IBF middleweight title. For Derevyanchenko’s sake, his trainers hopefully have let him know what he’s up against in coming to New York to fight Jacobs at home, because this could wind up being a controversial decision or at least have scoring that makes little sense.

When this fight was first made, it was thought that it would be a war between these two sluggers, but Jacobs is dropping big hints that he plans on boxing Derevyanchenko rather than mixing it up with him. The punishment that Jacobs took in his fights with Maciej Sulecki and Gennady Golovkin might be one reason why Daniel is thinking of playing it safe against Sergiy. Moreover, Jacobs has sparred with Derevyachenko over 300 rounds in the past, so he’s quite familiar with the Ukrainian’s punching power and talent. Jacobs likely knows that it would be a bad idea for him to slug with Derevyachenko, because the heady hands of the 2008 Olympian might be too much for him to take.

Jacobs, 31, has more experience than Derevyanchenko at the pro level having fought the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Dmitry Pirog, Peter Quillin, Maciej Sulecki, Caleb Truax, Sergio Mora and Ishe Smith. Derevyanchenko has only fought one notable fighter during his four-year career in beating Tureano Johnson. However, Derevyanchenko has been looking better than Jacobs as of late, and the could prove to be a huge factor on Saturday.

Jacobs appears to have lost something from his game in suffering a 12 round decision defeat at the hands of Golovkin in 2017. Jacobs took some big head shots in the second half of that fight that might have sapped something from his game, as he’s looked poor in his two fights since then against Maciej Sulecki and Luis Arias.

““I feel like I’m the strongest Middleweight that he has stepped in the ring with professionally,” said Jacobs to “The height and the reach are some key things, especially when I set my mind to be being a boxer, I can do that very well.”

Jacobs, 5’11 1/2″, will be enjoying a 2 1/2″ height and a 5″ inch reach advantage over the 5’9″ Derevyanchenko. We saw in Jacobs’ fights against the 5’11” Luis Arias and 5’10 1/2″ Golovkin that he looked giant compared to those guys when fully rehydrated. Jacobs looks to be taller than his listed height, and his weight appears to be in the 180s when he’s fully hydrated. The last time Jacobs was supposed to fight for the IBF title against Golovkin in 2017, he skipped the IBF-mandated secondary weigh-in on the morning of the fight. The IBF has a 10-lb rehydration limit. Jacobs skipped it and chose not to fight or the IBF title, whereas Golovkin had to make weight in order to keep his title. But for Jacobs to have a chance to fight for the vacant IBF middleweight title this Saturday against Derevyanchenko, he’s going to have to hold off rehydrating all the way until after that weight. If Jacobs does wind up rehydrating to the 180s like many boxing fans believe him to do, he’s going to need to wait until after the secondary weigh-in. The most Jacobs can gain back is 10 pounds to 170 for the IBF’s secondary weigh-in. That could be hard for Jacobs, because he hasn’t had to deal with the 10-lb rehydration limit in his fights. Fans haven’t been talking about the 10 lb rule by the IBF, but it could be a big problem for Jacobs, who is arguably a super middleweight in size. Jacobs chooses to fight at middleweight by preference, but he would likely need to fight at 168 if there were still same day weigh-ins like they had in the past.

Jacobs will be trying to capture his second world title at middleweight He previously held the WBA 160 lb title from 2014 to 2017. He lost the WBA belt in a close 12 round unanimous decision defeat at the hands of GGG last year in March 2017 in New York. Jacobs chose to fight passive, and it cost him the fight. Afterward, Jacobs decided not to take the high road by complaining about how he should have won. The majority of the boxing fans didn’t agree with Jacobs, noting that he was swept in the first six rounds by Golovkin, and knocked down. In the second half of the fight, Jacobs made it close, thanks to some very generous scoring by the New York judges. The fight didn’t look that close, but the scoring from the judges is all that mattered. Either way, Jacobs came up short, and he hopefully learned his lesson from the loss to be more aggressive in the future.

It’s going to be interesting to see how well Jacobs does against Derevyancheko due to the knowing each other really well from their time sparring. Derevyanchenko helped Jacobs prepare for his fight in 2017 against GGG. Jacobs’ height advantage might not help him as much as he thinks. Derevyanchenko dealt with Tureano Johnson’s height and reach advanage over him last year in beating him by a 12th round knockout in a one-sided fight. Although Johnson had his moments in the fight, Derevyanchenko was able to dominate him from the outside and the inside. Derevyanchenoko fought a smart fight, and was in control the entire way. Johnson would be a really hard fight for Jacobs. This would not be the easy fight Jacobs had against Luis Arias. Johnson would make him earn his win, and it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw Jacobs taste defeat.

While some boxing fans believe this is the first time that Derevyanchenko has stepped it up in his career as a pro, I’d have to disagree with that. Tureano was one of the best middleweights in the division when Derevyanchenko fought him last year. Johnson hasn’t fought since then, so he’s been largely forgotten by the boxing fans. That somewhat diminishes Derevyanchenko’s accomplishment. If Johnson was still active and winning fights, Derevyanchenko would be getting a lot of credit for having beaten him.

“If I want to come forward or be a counter puncher or even just want to outright brawl, I do believe that I have the power to back it up,” Jacobs said. “So, there’s a lot of dangers inside this fight when it comes to both of us. But for me, I truly feel like I have the best advantages.”

Will Jacobs’ chin hold out for 12 rounds?

Jacobs has a well-earned reputation for having a weak chin. He’s a good puncher, but his ability to take punishment is lacking. Dmitry Pirog broke Jacobs down in five rounds by coming after him with power shots in 2010. Pirog was willing to take Jacobs’ best shots in order to get to his weak chin, and it worked like a charm. Jacobs is going to have to exchange in his fight for him to be seen as the winner. He can’t play it passive like he did against GGG if he wants to be seen as the clear winner in the eyes of the boxing fans. Derevyanchenko hits hard, and Jacobs doesn’t have

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